July 8, 2014

Journey to the Heart of Germany: Part 2

i stayed up until 12 am last night doing homework. and it's july. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!
so i woke up at 8, and as i drank my juice, i dreaded writing my ap spanish lit summer essay, but now that i've finished the essay, i realize that it wasn't that bad. i actually enjoyed writing. now don't get me wrong, i'm not asking for more homework, but i just really love writing (i'll write an essay any day over writing a STUPID java program). but anyways, enough with the essays and homework, let's travel back to Dresden


Journey to the Heart of Germany Part 2

After the domino effect of chaotic events and the 8 hour plane ride (for the record, Air Berlin does not have the best food and the entertainment choices are decent but not the best either), we finally arrived in Berlin and embarked on a 2 hour drive to the city of Dresden. During our ride, our weary bodies were delighted by the sights of massive wind turbines throughout the highways and the haunting trees that reminded us faintly of the enchanted forest where many of the Brothers’ Grimm’s fairytales took place.

We arrived in Dresden around sunset, so all we could do (and wanted to do) was check in to our hotel, the upscale Westin Bellevue in the historic center of the city. Our hotel rooms had a picture perfect view of the statue of St. August the Great and the railway system that residents commute on. After we had all settled down and ran throughout the halls looking for our friends’ rooms, we all paraded off to a restaurant. The streets were empty and it was dark outside except for the glow from the lamplights. We were all in awe of how European the streets looked; we walked on narrow, cobblestone streets and admired the tall stone and brick buildings caving in around us. 

 our hotel room at the Westin Bellevue

 our view (people watching is always fun in another country)

We ate our very first German meal. I have absolutely no idea what we ate, but it was good. The plate had some macaroni and cheese-like pasta, meat covered in brown sauce, and sauerkraut. (I wish I remembered the name of the restaurant too L ) The dessert was a crepe with an blueberry sauce and these “berries” that my brother and I used to pick from our yard; my Grandpa called them “lanterns” and there’s a sweet, little, orange berry in the middle that’s edible! 

 if you understand German and the restaurant name is on this reserved sign, then let me know what the restaurant is called ;)
 our very first meal in Germany made a good impression
crepe for dessert

After dinner, we walked through the blistering wind and cold to see the historic center at night. It was absolutely breath-taking. The lights reflected off of the lake and we were just all so hyped up about being in Europe already, so everything was 10x more magnificent in our eyes.

So our day ended off with us returning to the hotel, walking past the St. August the Great statue on our way back, and hanging out in our friends’ rooms until curfew. Unfortunately, my friend and I (roomates) were just too excited and jetlagged, so we couldn’t fall asleep and ended up talking until 3 am. The bonding time was great, but unfortunately, we woke up the next morning to incessant knocking on our door by our other two friends. It was 9:00, and we were supposed to be at the lobby at that time. Although we did set an alarm, we realized that the phone was on silent so there was no sound to wake us up. So we scrambled to get ready and ended up in the lobby at 9:08. Hey, I think it was impressive for two jet-lagged girls, okay? After the embarrassing ordeal of waking up late, we embarked on a walking tour of the historic center of Dresden.
Our impressions of Dresden rest upon what we experienced on a weekday, when most of the residents were at work and nobody dared to leave their buildings to brace the numbing, rainy, windy November weather, so we remember it as a quiet town when we admired the intricate and massive architecture on our walking tour.
 I'm always going to remember Dresden for its architecture

if you look closely, there are animal head sculptures on each column
 this entire area was rebuilt after WWII, so the architecture is quite modern and i just love all the colors, they definitely brightened up the rainy day
fairly empty streets; this is one of my favorite photos, i guess it captures Dresden as we remember it (quiet with beautiful architecture)
how incredible is that organ?

My favorite moment from Dresden was the time that we got to explore a large mall, just blocks away from our hotel. We were all weary from the exhausting events from the past day, and we needed some time to unwind in a familiar setting…the Apple store. After picking up some much needed hot chocolate to warm ourselves (and some gummy bears which weren’t really needed), we checked our emails, contacted our families, and shopped for souvenirs. 
 the baked goods at the Coffee Jungle look so tempting
hot chocolate from Coffee Jungle & checking my email at the Apple store

Our time to explore Dresden was cut short due to the day that we lost from the delayed flight and the time difference, and we had to quickly stop for lunch at the bottom floor of the Sophienkeller, which was decorated to look like a medieval bar. (There was even one table where the chairs were booth-style but hung like porch swings from the ceiling.) We had chicken cutlets, potatoes, applesauce, and a little cake. 

 decor at the Sophienkeller (mix between a medieval bar and butcher store)
 chicken cutlets and (of course) potatoes
a little cake and applesauce

After our lunch, we ran back to the hotel (crossing the street with 200 people takes quite a long time), changed, and hopped onto the bus to go to the church to rehearse for our concert that night with a local adult choir. The church was very small and the turnout wasn’t great, so we were disappointed with the concert, but we cheered up at dinner at the Watzke Ball und Brauhaus. Dinner was different, the meat was okay but we weren't a fan of the rice ball, but we were starving considering it was about 9 pm and the last time we ate was at 12, so we ate everything anyways. I guess apples are a big part of German food, because we had applesauce again in our dessert. Afterwards, we hung out with friends, had a good time, and by curfew, we all had no trouble falling asleep.

where we had our first concert
post-concert dinner: meat, a sticky rice ball (kind of like an arancini ball but not crispy and very chewy), and pickled beets
dessert: applesauce, bits of a fried cake (similar to our dessert at lunch), and that "lantern" berry again!


here's a sneak peak at tomorrow's post on Leipzig (everyone's FAVORITE city):

hope you're excited!
xoxo, Hannah

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